Wearable Devices and Mobile Health Technology: One Step Towards Better Health

With increasing efforts being made to address the current global obesity epidemic, wearable devices and mobile health ("mHealth") technology have emerged as promising tools for promoting physical activity. However, current literature seems to indicate that these new technologies may serve best as part of a larger overall health plan, rather than working alone to encourage weight loss.

In a review for this week's Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity, Nicole Spartano, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, comments that recent literature shows that self-monitoring behavior has a role in encouraging weight loss, but may not be enough to keep people healthy when used without thought to behavioral strategies. "There is not sufficient evidence that wearable devices can promote sustained behavior change and long-term weight maintenance on their own." She cites one study in which a game-based intervention produced significant improvement in step counts compared to a group of individuals using a fitness tracker without an incentive program, concluding that "using social or financial incentives and techniques like gamification may support motivation of behavior change".

Spartano also has concern about groups being left behind with wearable device and mobile health technology-based weight loss studies. "Strategies for research study recruitment and, more importantly, for implementing wearable and mHealth technology into a clinical setting or community public health program (in schools, workplace, church or other community-setting) require extra thought and cultural sensitivity to ensure the equity in potential public resources and opportunities."

Ultimately, she is optimistic about the role these technologies may play in developing weight loss and overall health strategies between patients and their primary care providers. "Integration of mHealth technology and wearable devices in primary care settings presents an opportunity to capitalize on the routine relationship that patients and providers have."

Kaitlyn M Riffenburg, Nicole L Spartano.
Physical activity and weight maintenance: the utility of wearable devices and mobile health technology in research and clinical settings.
Current Opinion in Endocrinology & Diabetes and Obesity. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000433.

Most Popular Now

Bayer Accelerates Six New Startups

Changing the experience of health: that's the focus of the six startups which the Bayer G4A team has included in the Accelerator program this year. The young companies from Canada...

Cerner Teams-Up with North London Partne…

Cerner has announced a new collaboration with North London Partners (NLP) - a partnership of health and care organisations across five London boroughs - to connect care information, share records...

Artificial Intelligence could Help Tackl…

Scientist from King’s College London believe that Artificial Intelligence could hold the key to identifying the best way to treat the country’s biggest killer, coronary heart disease (CHD). And now...

Researchers Use AI to Successfully Treat…

A translational research team led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) has harnessed CURATE.AI, a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) platform, to successfully treat a patient with advanced cancer, completely...

Greater Manchester Health and Social Car…

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership(GMHSC Partnership) aims to deliver rapid savings and identify how the cloud can support the region’s devolved vision for integratedhealth and careservices through work...

Philips Launches New Cardiac Ultrasound …

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today introduced the EPIQ CVx cardiovascular ultrasound system. Built on the powerful EPIQ ultrasound platform, EPIQ CVx is...

Orion Health Secures Place on Framework …

Orion Health has secured a place on a framework contract that will give health and care organisations easier access to the technology they need to deliver the NHS reform agenda...

Nottingham University Hospitals Switches…

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has completed a complex project to switch integration engines; on time, on budget, and with no disruption to services. The trust has a well-advanced 'best...

An Avatar Uses Your Gait to Predict How …

Humans instinctively adopt the gait that requires the least amount of energy given the walking conditions. Without realizing it, we are constantly tweaking our pace, stride length and foot lift...

Study on Cross-Border Health Services: E…

The overall objective of this study was to propose recommendations for improving the current level of information provision to patients by National Contact Points (NCPs). The research methodology used in...

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Indus…

21 - 23 January 2019, London, UK. SMi Group are delighted to present the return of their 11th annual Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference to London on the 21st...

Kids Connect with Robot Reading Partners

Kids learn better with a friend. They're more enthusiastic and understand more if they dig into a subject with a companion. But what if that companion is artificial? Researchers at...